Using systematic reviews to understand prognosis, diagnosis and effective interventions for children with neurodevelopmental difference and disability

Project Details

Our team is involved in systematically reviewing the evidence surrounding a number of developmental conditions, such as cerebral palsy and autism. Systematic reviews of primary research in human health care and health policy are internationally recognised as the highest standard in evidence-based health care resources. They investigate the effects of interventions for prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation. The area of research aims to produce high quality systematic reviews suitable for publication in journals such as the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. The results of these reviews inform practice and future research in developmental disabilities.


  • Professor Katrina Williams, APEX Australia Chair of Developmental Medicine, Paediatrician and Public Health Physician
  • Dr Tamara May, Lorenzo and Pamela Galli Postdoctoral Fellow & Psychologist
  • Dr Kristine Egberts, Lorenso and Pamela Galli Postdoctoral Fellow in Systematic Reviews
  • Ms Amanda Brignell, Research Assistant & Speech Pathologist
  • Dr Felicity Klopper, Research Assistant & Neuropsychologist
  • Ms Francesca Lami, PhD student
  • Ms Charmaine Bernie, PhD student & Occupational Therapist
  • Dr Rebecca Mitchell, PhD student & Paediatrician
  • Ms Marijke Mitchell, PhD student enrolling for 2017 & Nurse


We collaborate with a range of different groups including those from the Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, University of Melbourne, Deakin University, Djerriwarrh Health Services (DjHS) Melton, and the Living with Autism Cooperative Research Centre.


We are funded through the NHMRC, ARC and various philanthropic organisations.

Research Outcomes

  1. Hartling L, Shave K, Thomson D, Fernandes RM, Wingert A, Williams K. Publication of reviews synthesizing child health evidence (PORSCHE): a survey of authors to identify factors associated with publication in Cochrane and non-Cochrane sources. Systematic Reviews. 2016;5:104. doi: 10.1186/s13643-016-0276-7.
  2. James S, Stevenson SW, Silove N, Williams K. Chelation for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2015, Issue 5. Art. No.: CD010766. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD010766.pub2.
  3. McConachie H, Parr JR, Glod M, Hanratty J, Livingstone N, Oono IP, Robalino S, Baird G, Beresford B, Charman T, Garland D, Green J, Gringras P, Jones G, Law J, Le Couteur AS, Macdonald G, McColl EM, Morris C, Rodgers J, Simonoff E, Terwee CB, Williams K. Systematic review of tools to measure outcomes for young children with autism spectrum disorder. Health Technology Assessment. 2015;19(41):1-506. DOI: 10.3310/hta19410.
  4. Williams K, Brignell A, Randall M, Silove N, Hazell P. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Aug 20;8. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004677.pub3.

Research Group

Autism Research Team

Faculty Research Themes

Child Health

School Research Themes

Child Health in Medicine, Neuroscience & Psychiatry

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre


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